23 July 2019 | While best efforts have been made to verify the accuracy of the information, it should be used as guidance only. If you have updated information please contact policy@etoa.org.

Tax

A tourism tax (tasa turística) only applies in Catalonia and the Balearic Islands.

Please click on the right hand banner 
to find out rates and further information. 


VAT:
21% (reduced to 10% for hotels and restaurants)
European Commission VAT rates in member states

Access and Mobility

Madrid Central has a low emission zone (Zona de Bajas Emisiones)

  • Tour coaches are exempt until 2023. Access will then only be allowed for coaches which meet at least B yellow sticker standard (Euro 4/5) of Distintivo Ambiental. From 2025 at least C sticker (Euro 6) will be required.
  • Minibuses are exempt until 2020. Access will then only be allowed for minibuses which meet at least B yellow sticker standard (Euro 4/5) of Distintivo Ambiental. From 2022 at least C sticker (Euro 6) will be required.

Attractions

These attractions are selected due to high demand and/or operational issues. If you think we should include others, please contact policy@etoa.org.

Attractions located in Barcelona can be found here.

There are rumours that the Spanish Minister of Culture, José Guirao, is considering to prohibit reselling of tickets to attractions without adding extra value, e.g. package the ticket with something else. We are following this case closely as a prohibition may have a considerable impact on capacity management, distribution and ticketing of major attractions in Spain.

Information about Alhambra and tickets can be found here. Group tickets can only be booked by an agent authorised by the Patronato de la Alhambra. When obtaining a licence, tickets can be booked here.

ETOA Update, June 2019: We are aware that it is still very difficult to obtain tickets for Alhambra. Due to local elections, the structure within the Patronato is changing. Furthermore, it has been suggested that the online booking system of the Alhambra was breached end of May 2019, affecting 4.5 million users and about 1000 travel agencies. We are seeking more information.

Guiding regulation

In Spain, guiding (Guía turístico) is a partly regulated profession (regulated by regions – Comunidades Autonomas), where some autonomous regions, such as the Basque country, have not regulated the profession, others like Asturias or Andalusia have regulated it, and Madrid has deregulated it.

Museums and Patrimonio Nacional (Royal palaces, castles and some museums) are not part of the regional guiding regulations, and guides need to have a licence to be able to guide in these places.

Despite regions not having regulated guiding or have deregulated guiding, operators are frequently reporting verbal attacks on international guides/tour directors from local guides. If you are experiencing such issues, please contact policy@etoa.org.

You can find more information about guiding regulations in Spain on the Europeans Commission’s website here and read our guide on guiding regulations here.

Please click on the right hand banner to read more about guiding regulations in Europe and the ETOA tour guide ID card. 

Public holidays and opening hours

Spain has approximately eight national holidays (Fiestas Nacionales) annually as well as several regional and local holidays. The dates and numbers of public holidays are announced by the government for the following year in October.

Official announcements can be found here.

Normal business hours in Spain are from 08:30/09:00 to around 14:00. The Siesta will typically run until around 16:30/17:00, where business will re-open and continue until around 20:00.

Events and seasonality

There are several events taking place every year throughout Spain. The below is not an exhaustive list.

  • Euro 2020 football tournament will partly be hosted by Bilbao at the Estadio San Mamés (15/06/20 – 28/06/20).
  • La Tomatina is a yearly festival taking place in the town of Bunol close to Valencia. The main aspect of the festival is a tomato war, where the 20,000 participants throw tomatoes at each other. In 2019, the date of the festival is 28/08/2019. Around these dates, Bunol and the surrounding areas are expected to be busier than usual. It is possible to buy group tickets.
  • The Holy Week (Semana Santa) is held during Easter in most towns and cities. Celebrations are especially famous in Seville and Malaga.
  • Carnival takes place in February throughout Spanish towns. The carnival in Tenerife lasts the entire month of February.
  • The Fallas of Valencia takes place in March and has been declared an event of Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity by UNESCO. Throughout the week, statues and figures take up space in the streets and squares.

ETOA activity

Our local Spain Country Representatives Jorge Traver and Joanne Cadier as well as Market Manager Leyre Raimundo are focusing on developing the local membership base as well as our relationship with local authorities, attractions and other stakeholders.

Within the last few years, Sagrada Familia and the Alhambra are subject to increasing visitor pressure and operational difficulties; we are in dialogue with both. In Seville, we ran a cultural tourism seminar in September 2018, followed by HEM, our hotel workshop in February 2019.

We are continuously running seminars, working group meeting and networking drinks receptions in Barcelona. Please click here to learn more about our activities in Barcelona.

Jorge Traver

Jorge Traver
Country representative, Spain
jtraver@etoa.org
+34 629 088 344

Flag Spain
ETOA staff - Joanne Cadier

Joanne Cadier
Country representative, Spain
jcadier@etoa.org
+34 645 683 643

Flag Spain
Leyre

Leyre Raimundo
Market Manager, Spain & Portugal
lraimundo@etoa.org
+44 20 3325 5030

Flag Spain

Resources

Spain’s sustainable tourism strategy 2030 can be found here.

City tourism: Operators update

 Receive the latest news on operational developments in destinations across Europe

 

SIGN UP NOW

Member-only content

 

Login to access

   

Forgot your password?

Reset Forgotten Password